Skip to comments.The Ruins of the Borscht Belt ( A ghostly chaise at Grossingerís,Concord...)
Posted on 02/19/2014 5:33:36 PM PST by sushiman
I grew up in the mountains or, as others called it, the countryas if no other mountain or country existed. In fact, it was Sullivan County, N.Y., about 90 miles northwest of New York City and an area of the Catskills centered on the town of Monticello that from the 1920s through the 1970s represented a retreat for millions of city-dwellers, predominantly Jewish American. The locale was first developed in the late 1800s with tanneries, lumberyards, and farms that eventually became boarding houses and hotels.
(Excerpt) Read more at tabletmag.com ...
Dang, my brother worked a summer at Grossinger’s in the Seventies.
A Walk on the Moon is a great (R) coming- of-age movie about a summer at a borscht belt resort in the Catskills at the cusp of many changes. Diane Lan, Liev Schreiber, Viggo Mortensen.
Amazing. I actually assumed all these places still existed. I remember one of my Jewish friends in college had a little clock that looked like a log and had “Grossinger’s” written on it.
once jackie mason is gone schtick will be dead.
Sad it wasn’t kept up, this was a piece of American History. Many performers honed their acts there. When radio, and then television was develped, there was a gold mine of talent already developed from years performing here. Those were the people that made radio and television what it is.
“I actually assumed all these places still existed.”
You can still buy Grossinger’s Rye bread, I was shocked at that photo.
That part of NY is beautiful, superb really. I don’t really understand what happened that these resorts are all ruined now.
I’ve got to watch that someday.
In the first half of the 20th century (and even a bit later), it was not uncommon for hotels and resorts to have “No Jews” policies.
“Dirty Dancing” (1987) was quite a lookback.
Upstate New York is so beautiful. Easy to see why the Catskills & Poconos were such romantic getaways & honeymoon sites.
“When was this? What were the policies?”
There was a lot of discrimination against Jews. I think the movie “Gentleman’s Agreement” is about that. But someone will correct me if I’m wrong.
...from a time when discriminatory policies made it difficult for Jews to travel freely across America
When was this? What were the policies?
In the fifties and sixties, many of our families went to Atlantic City. I still remember the Kosher decals in the windows of many of the eateries.
"School Ties" (with Brendan Fraser) was an updated version of this, I think.
This would be worth seeing if it was simply decay and neglect. But these pictures look like vandalism.
“coming-of-age movie” = a description that should be banned
Uhhhhhhh...where are they?
Why do people always want me to look up words?
That means the same thing. lol.
For others, click the "postage stamp" picture immediately below the top picture.
Apt parallel to the Borscht Belt: Negro League Baseball.
But it’s not overused!
There was a resort in Northern Arkansas that a friend took me to a few months back. He said it was a big deal in the 40s but now there’s nothing there. I can’t remember the name of it.
Another resort in Arkansas that went belly up was Dogpatch, USA.
“School Ties” (with Brendan Fraser) was an updated version of this, I think.”
Interesting, I’ve never heard of that movie.
Maybe THIS summer I’ll do what I’ve meant to so many times and make a movie play list for myself and just watch a bunch of movies that I mean to watch.
Set up some Saturday night double features, etc.
“...where are they?”
Yes, that was unclear. You have to click the photo to the left and underneath the main photo, it says “view slideshow” or something like that.
It’s worth it, the photos are good, even if sad and creepy.
Air conditioning. City dwellers no longer had to escape to the Catskills to escape stifling NYC summer heat.
“City dwellers no longer had to escape to the Catskills to escape stifling NYC summer heat.”
That makes as much sense as anything I guess. NYC was and is sweltering in the summer.
You are not wrong. I was raised in villages throughout western upstate New York, not large enough to have any Jewish component, so I had no indoctrination into antisemitism. But in my early adult life, I lived in/near towns and cities large enough to have a minyan of bar-mitzvahed males (hence one or more synagogues/mikvahs), and I began to see the negative sensitivity to a Jewish culture amongst the non-Jewish segment.
At first, it was a puzzle to me. When I went to Syracuse U, I liked to date Jewish girls, because they seemed to be warmer and less phony. But I also felt a lot of resistance among my citified fraternity pals toward this preference of mine.
In the end, I had to recognize the injustice of discrimination, to stand on principle, and to act vocally to bring several of the brothers into chagrin and shame-faced compliance for trying to blackball a couple of Jewish pledges. The success in lecturing that meeting into fairness broke the unspoken (but always present) inflexible bar to enrolling Jewish pledges.
Out of those first two, one "brotherized" pledge became a fellow National Guardsman patriot, and the other an internationally known media personality, unique in his fairness to Islamists. For that stance on behalf of those two, I was mocked rest of my college stay in the fraternity that claimed brotherly love and truth in human dealings to be its founding principles.
No, you were not wrong. But I think the photographs in the original article here could be seen as a metaphor of the effect of Hollywood, radio, and TV in bringing a greater interweaving of Jewishness into the tapestry of American history.
But it is true that the rejection of Jews came largely through their clannishness and rejection of assimilation, a very biblical foundation of their uniqueness. While one may contemplate cultural blending using terms like "European-American" or "African-American," etc.; there is no such definition for an individual of Hebrew extraction. You may encounter an American Jew, but there is no such entity as a "Jewish-American."
And the rest of the American "melting-pot" hoi polloi doesn't like the attitude of Jews who neither wish to merge or share their cultural basis.
I’m in my 40’s (and not jewish) and had no idea this once happened in the USA. Was it routine to show an ID when checking into hotels back then?
It was usually more casual than that. An inkeeper or desk manager would look at the style of clothes,haircuts, accents.
If after filling out a reg card, it was discovered the last name was ‘stien’ or ‘berg’ or something similar, a mistake would be found. There were suddenly no rooms available.
I'm old enough to remember when Jews had to use a "beard" in order to buy property in certain N.H. resort areas.